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Willy Vanilly | Alpine Beer Company

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47 Reviews
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Willy VanillyWilly Vanilly

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The base for this beer is Willy Wheat. They add Vanilla to the tanks during aging. Try mixing it with Alpine's Captain Stout for a Captain & Vanille.
Draft availability only.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2003

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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 236
Reviews by brew3crew:
Photo of brew3crew
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap the the alpine brewery

A-straw yellow with white whispy head that quickly disapates

S-almost a syrupy vanilla. Thank goodness it tastes better than the smell

T-light body and very smooth. Sooo much vanilla. Little bit of wheat try to balance it out but fails

-medium body and smooth

O- if you like vanilla then this is for you. If not, better luck next time!

 370 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of nathanmiller
4.79/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

From look and feel, this is a pretty good wheat beer, basically as one would expect from a brewery with the pedigree that Alpine has. The head retention is fair, the color is hazy and clean, all in all, it's almost a textbook APWA - that is, in look and feel.

Taste and Aroma, however, are the outliers. The taste is pure vanilla (no shock based on the name) but not cloying or hot as might be expected. The aroma reminds me of baking cookies as a child.

Overall, this beer is wonderful.

 489 characters

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
4.49/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cream soda in beer form... delicious.

37 characters

Photo of DanGeo
3.21/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of Tiernan
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Todd
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Vanilla, Marshmallow, Bready, Vanilla

Golden straw in color with a slight haze and a fluffy white head. Deep notes of vanilla permeate the aroma. Creamy, surprisingly medium-bodied with a bit of chew. Crisp underneath with soft vanilla notes and a sugary marshmallow suggestion merge with some bready sweetness and wheat character. A mild bitterness provides balance while subtle citrus undertones bring things together. Residual vanilla in the end is accompanied by an oily feel. Willy Vanilly works, but drink it cold since the vanilla takes over as the beer warms and becomes a bit artificial.

As reviewed in BeerAdvocate magazine #115 (August 2016).

 655 characters

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of aquazr1
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of ledouge
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of magictrokini
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Surpisingly good beer. The vanilla takes over this beer, but it is not overwhelming. The solid wheat base is a good choice. Very sweet beer, but in a natural way. I can't see drinking too much of this brew, but I would not turn it down in the future.

 250 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Slight finger of white head that fades fairly quick.

Smell: A bready and fairly sweet wheat driven aroma with a scent of vanilla, wheat, and spice. Good upfront scent of vanilla. Belgian yeast with a scent of pepper, coriander, and clove. Malt scent of wheat, grains, biscuit, and cracker. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a bready and sweet wheat driven taste with notes of vanilla, wheat, and spice. Upfront presence of vanilla. Belgian yeast with notes of pepper, clove, and coriander. Bready malt notes of wheat, cracker, grains, and biscuit. A pretty nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid twist on a Wheat ale. Nice mix of vanilla and wheat notes.

 891 characters

Photo of moundbz
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the Alpine brewpub. Cloudy yellow appearance, thin white head.

Tons of vanilla in the nose, man this is heavy. Possibly the most vanilla I've ever smelled in a beer.

Light wheat smoothness accompanied by the heavy dose of vanilla. Light orange in the mouthfeel. Pretty mild malt bill. The heavy vanilla probably obscures its minimalism.
Carbonation is probably a little lower than most wheat beers.

I think you really have to be a vanilla fan to be into this beer. I like vanilla, but I can't see drinking this in mass quantities like the hoppy offerings from Alpine. Its a soft wheat and massive vanilla bomb. I liked it, a vast improvement over the non vanilla willy.

 685 characters

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Reappropriated
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of Johnny58
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Tuckersmth
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of joeyjoey104
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Tasting notes form Aug 12th, 2016
Had on-tap @ Alley Katz in Citrus Heights, CA

Appearance - The brew is hazy and pale straw yellow, served up in a pint with a white, finger width head. Fair retention, fading to a mostly barren surface. Fair lacing consisting of broken webbing.

Smell - Lots of wheat on the nose. Mild citrus. Faint vanilla.

Taste - Follows the nose. Mellow flavor profile comprised mostly of wheat, with lesser vanilla and a touch of citrus and then a bit of hop spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Very light in body with moderate carbonation. Smooth drinker with a crisp, resfreshing finish. The strong point of the beer.

Overall - A fair brew. Wheat and vanilla as promised, but the lack of strength in flavor simply doesn't work well for me.

 765 characters

Photo of dertyd
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Served with no head. Beer is a cloudy lemon that reveals ample carbonation. Little to no lacing with very little stick.

S: Nose is simple and sweet but very pleasant. Vanilla, wheat, citrus, and lemon with the first aroma coming on very strong and lasting through the entire glass.

T: Vanilla is big and creamy at the outset. Lemon, wheat sweetness lasts to the end. Cane sugar in the middle and slightly bready at the finish. Little to no aftertaste.

M: Light bodied and highly carbonated. Lively, abrasive, and coarse in the mouth. The same going down. Finish is slight messy with little aftertaste.

D: Very drinkable and an appreciable twist on a very familiar style. Vanilla is apparent here and Alpine makes it clear that they didn't just dabble with this flavor infusion. Definitely worth a try if you're in the area.

 885 characters

Photo of avisong
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of emilylee
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Beernoobie
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Willy Vanilly from Alpine Beer Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 236 ratings.
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